Do you dream of being able to work from anywhere in the world? At times that best suit your lifestyle? Do you want to make your own decisions about the projects you implement and the clients you cooperate with? Would you like to influence the earnings you generate? If your answer is yes, then a freelance career may be the perfect solution for you. In this entry, we will look at the advantages and challenges associated with this form of employment. You will learn how to earn money as a freelancer and how cooperation with clients works. We will also share practical tips for beginner freelancers.
Who is a freelancer?
As usual, we will start by explaining who a freelancer is. We realize that this word sounds quite complicated, at least to some people. Freelancers are people who do not work permanently for one specific company. In fact, you could say that such a person is his or her own boss. Works independently and accepts various orders from different companies or people, selecting them at his own discretion.
Going further, a freelancer does not have a typical office or permanent workplace. For this reason, he often works from home, a café or another place that is convenient for him. Thanks to this, he has a lot of freedom and flexibility in managing his time. Moreover, freelancers can be (and usually are) specialists in various fields. These include:
- graphic design,
- writing texts,
It is also important that freelancers usually look for clients or specific projects that interest them. Due to the fact that they do not have a fixed salary, they must be good entrepreneurs and be able to manage their careers.
Generally speaking, a freelancer is a person who works for themselves. She is independent and has the opportunity to choose projects that interest her. No one forces her to join a given project because she reports to no one. A freelancer is his or her own boss and works independently on his or her professional career. That’s why he is often called a freelancer.
What is the work of a freelancer?
The work of a freelancer involves carrying out commissioned tasks. As we mentioned earlier, they look for orders on their own and determine the details of cooperation and deadlines for completing the tasks. In addition, they often also have to deal with aspects related to accounting, marketing and sales.
The duties of a person working as a freelancer include primarily:
- keeping track of deadlines,
- carrying out tasks in accordance with the client’s expectations,
- enforcing remuneration for work performed.
How to become a freelancer?
If you want to become a freelancer, first of all you need to have skills and experience in a specific field. This is necessary to be able to provide services at the highest level and gain the trust of customers. Moreover, it is worth constantly improving your skills through professional literature, courses or training – or simply practice.
To become a freelancer, a person who carries out orders for clients, you will need to take certain steps. These will primarily be:
- Determining your skills and interests – are you good at programming, copywriting, or maybe graphic design? Consider what field you would like to work in as a freelancer. You have two options here: it can be something you are proficient in or something you are interested in and would like to develop in it. Remember that working in an area that fascinates you can make you more committed and motivated.
- Finding your niche – this is about identifying an area where you can differentiate yourself by focusing your efforts there. It will be a good idea to conduct research that will tell you whether people are interested in such services at all. It is also worth checking out the competition right away to assess whether there is a place for you there. Try to find a niche that is unique or not very competitive. Being a specialist in something that few people do can help you attract customers.
- Creating a portfolio – once you have experience in a given field, it is worth building your portfolio. This way, you will show potential clients your skills and achievements. This will give them a better idea of your work. You can create a website or online portfolio where you will present your best works or projects.
- Establishing a price list – take into account the costs of materials, necessary programs or tools, as well as the time spent. Also remember to consider the costs of renting an office or supplying equipment necessary to perform your work. Don’t forget to send the client an invoice at the end of each project or order with a description of the activities performed and the amount expected for the order.
- Business registration – if you intend to work as a freelancer permanently, it is worth registering your business. For this purpose, it is worth consulting an expert, e.g. a business advisor. Thanks to this, you will learn what specific steps you need to take and what to pay attention to.
- Building a network of contacts – you will achieve this by building relationships with other professionals in the industry. You can start with people in your circle of friends. Also consider the issue of cooperation with other self-employed people – such a solution may bring benefits to both parties. You can recommend each other and discuss larger projects together. Another effective way is to join industry groups and attend conferences and events related to the field in which you operate. In discussion groups you can exchange information and knowledge with other specialists. Additionally, you can use online platforms for this purpose, e.g. LinkedIn. Create a professional profile and be active on it. In the era of new media, many people acquire customers this way.
- Promoting your services – if you want to gain customers, you need to promote your services. The simplest and cheapest way will be to set up and run company profiles on social media. However, first you need to check which websites your target group is on. If you have a budget for promotion, decide to create a website to reach potential customers.
- Building your reputation – your reputation is crucial when you work as a freelancer. Therefore, try to ensure that your services are always of high quality. Be professional in contact with customers and ensure deadlines. Don’t just focus on acquiring new customers, but try to create long-term relationships with existing ones. After completing the order, ask your customers to leave their opinions about your cooperation. Positive opinions from satisfied customers build your credibility in the eyes of others. They will also be the key to winning further orders – the opinions of others largely influence purchasing decisions. It is also worth reviewing negative opinions to be able to draw conclusions from them for the future and try to improve specific aspects of cooperation.
Finally, we will add that not everyone is able to work in this way. Working as a freelancer requires self-discipline, resourcefulness and flexibility. You are then responsible for managing your time and finances, so you need to be well organized and focused on your goals.
Advantages and disadvantages of being a freelancer
You probably realize that being a freelancer is not without its disadvantages. This is one of the reasons why you should carefully consider the decision to become self-employed. So if you are planning to become a freelancer, you should read this. It is certainly worth being aware of these factors to be prepared for certain situations.
Advantages of being a freelancer:
- independence – working as a freelancer guarantees you much greater independence and control over your career. The undoubted advantage is that you choose the projects that interest you, as well as the clients with whom you cooperate. In this way, you don’t have to subordinate yourself to anyone.
- choice regarding orders – you can focus on short-term projects or longer orders. It all depends on your preferences and dispositions at a given moment,
- time flexibility – you have more control over your working time. You can adjust the schedule to your needs and private commitments. This is an ideal solution for people who value working unusual hours or have other responsibilities, e.g. childcare. Deciding on your schedule makes it much easier to organize your work and private life,
- diversification of projects – which results in the development of skills and broadening horizons,
- possibility of higher earnings (compared to full-time employment) – at least potentially. The point is that when you work this way, you have the opportunity to set your own rates for the work performed. It gives you more control over your income,
- remote work – it saves a lot of time. In addition, it creates the opportunity to work for companies or individual clients from all over the world. This, in turn, gives you a chance to get not only more interesting but also better-paid jobs.
Disadvantages of being self-employed:
- lack of financial stability – you are not sure how much you will earn in a given month. Your remuneration will depend on the number of orders and the amount of work performed. For this reason, you should learn to properly manage your finances and have an emergency fund,
- responsibility – working as a freelancer requires great self-discipline and independence. You must be able to manage your time, motivate yourself to work and be responsible for your results. Lack of supervision can affect your productivity,
- lack of employment stability – you do not have the employment stability that occurs in the case of a traditional employment contract. Your projects may be short-term, so you’re naturally not sure what the next month will bring. You must be ready for variability and flexibility,
- lack of employee benefits – you do not have access to traditional employee benefits and benefits. This applies, for example, to health insurance, paid leave and additional benefits. You have to provide them yourself, which unfortunately can be expensive,
- acquiring clients and building a network of contacts yourself – you have to look for orders and build your reputation yourself. This can be difficult, especially at the beginning of your career. You need to know that not everyone has marketing and sales skills, which makes it much more difficult to gain regular customers. Competition on the market can be very high, so you have to put a lot of effort into acquiring new customers. This will require a lot of time and energy, which in turn can lead to stress and pressure.
As you can see, working as a freelancer has both advantages and disadvantages. This is an option that may be ideal for some people, but not everyone. Before making a decision, it is worth carefully considering whether you are ready to take on such a challenge.
Financial management is a very important skill in the life of a freelancer. Want to learn more about an emergency fund? Find out how to build a financial cushion.
How to make money as a freelancer? Tips for beginners
Are you curious how to make money as a freelancer? What should cooperation with a client look like? What should you pay attention to at the beginning of your career? We will try to discuss this later in this entry.
Stages of cooperation with the client
Let’s start with the fact that cooperation with a client can be both an interesting experience and quite a challenge. Customers are different, their expectations, preferences and communication styles also differ. Therefore, it is important to be open to different approaches and flexible in adapting to the needs of a given client.
The first step of cooperation is to establish contact with a potential client. This is done in various ways – through a freelance platform, advertisements or direct contact. The next stage is a conversation with the client, during which the details of the order are discussed. A freelancer should ask questions about the client’s requirements, deadline and budget. It is important to clearly and precisely discuss the client’s expectations to avoid later misunderstandings. Understanding is the basis of such cooperation.
After accepting the order, the implementation stage begins. Remember that as a freelancer you must meet pre-defined deadlines. Sometimes it is worth regularly informing the client about progress – this way you will maintain good communication and avoid unnecessary tensions. Once the work is done, its results must be delivered to the client. Don’t forget to review and check them – both in terms of quality and compliance with customer expectations. You must be ready to make any corrections if necessary. The final stage is the client’s assessment and opinion on the work performed.
Cooperation with the client – what to pay attention to?
Cooperation with clients is an inherent element of the work of freelancers and professionals operating in the service industry. Each project or order requires direct contact and cooperation with the client. So let’s look at the important aspects that must be taken into account for such cooperation to be successful. These are:
- communication – it is important to maintain regular contact with the client, answering questions and requests. Sometimes this also includes reporting on project progress. Clear and effective communication helps avoid misunderstandings,
- punctuality – meeting the agreed deadlines is crucial for successful cooperation with the client. A freelancer should try to deliver his services according to the agreed schedule. If delays occur, it is important to inform the client in advance and negotiate new dates,
- professionalism – cooperation with a client requires a professional approach. Above all, a freelancer should be reliable and treat the client with respect. It is also important to maintain confidentiality and comply with contracts and regulations,
- understanding – before starting the project, it is important to thoroughly discuss the client’s requirements. It is important to clarify any doubts and make sure of the client’s expectations.
Where to look for freelance jobs?
First of all, register on freelance platforms. These are places where you can find orders and, in addition, establish contact with customers. Complete your profiles, add information about your experience and skills. Don’t forget to share your portfolio link too.
The most popular websites for freelancers include:
- Freelancer – over 2,500 categories to choose from,
- Toptal – employs only the most experienced specialists,
- GrowTal – marketing services,
- 99designs – for designers,
In addition, it is worth browsing LinkedIn, a social networking site for building professional and business relationships. You can network with other professionals, including employers and recruiters. Additionally, you can search for job offers or use discussion groups for various industries.
Another way to obtain orders is to participate in conferences or industry fairs. This creates the opportunity to establish contacts with potential customers. Another way is to visit job sites, e.g. Indeed, Remote or WeWorkRemotely.
The last option is Facebook groups. There you will find general groups for freelancers, as well as specialized groups – intended for a specific industry or profession.
From this post you learned, among other things, how to make money as a freelancer and where you can look for jobs. So you know it can be a great way to pursue a full-time job or an additional source of income.
If you are ready for the challenges that freelancing brings, it is worth a try. Remember that success will require time, effort and determination, but it can be very rewarding.